The Raptors got themselves a bargain in ex-Celtics power forward Jared Sullinger, even though he’s not an ideal fit, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun opines. Sullinger agreed to a one-year deal with Toronto on Monday after Boston renounced his rights. He’s not an ideal partner for either Jonas Valanciunas or Jakob Poeltl because of his lack of foot speed but he’ll contribute with his rebounding and low-post game, Wolstat continues. Sullinger will be motivated to have a productive season in order to get a big payday next summer, Wolstat adds, noting that approach worked last season for Bismack Biyombo.
In other news around the Atlantic Division:
- Sixers big man Jahlil Okafor denied via his Twitter account that he’s angry that they shopped him this offseason, according to CSNNE.com report. Okafor responded to a story by Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times that he and his handlers were upset that Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo listened to offers for the second-year power forward. Okafor called the story “fraudulent” and declared that “I love where I am.” The Celtics, who made a big free-agent splash by signing Al Horford, could still try to deal for Okafor this summer, CSNNE.com adds.
- Celtics guard Terry Rozier has positioned himself for more playing time with his postseason play and summer-league performances, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Rozier could help fill the void left by Evan Turner, who agreed to a four-year deal with the Trail Blazers, and even take some minutes from starting point guard Isaiah Thomas, Blakely adds. The 6’2” Rozier averaged 1.8 points in 39 regular-season games as a rookie, then averaged 4.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 19.8 minutes during the playoffs.
- Expectations of a Knicks playoff run are tempered by health issues, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. New York’s offseason acquisitions of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Brandon Jennings improved its outlook but all have been hampered by major injuries in recent years, Berman notes. Team president Phil Jackson doesn’t dispute that injury concerns are the team’s biggest issue, Berman adds.